Death Valley
Historic Resource Study
A History of Mining
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A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)

6. Panamint Mine

a) History

The Panamint Mine, about one-half mile south of the mouth of Warm Spring Canyon, is located a short distance west among a group of ridges between Warm Spring and Anvil canyons. The majority of the five claims comprising the property were located in 1935 by Ernest Huhn, probably around the same time he and Louise Grantham were staking the claims that later became the Grantham Mine in Warm Spring Canyon. Southern California Minerals Company of Los Angeles later acquired the property, concentrating most of its sporadic activity in the years between 1952 and 1957. Talc output of the property to 1968 has been around 4,700 tons. [247] It is now owned by Pfizer, Inc.

Illustration 55. Map of Warm Spring Canyon mining area.

b) Present Status

Today the Panamint Talc Group consists of ten unpatented claims: Panamint #3-5 claim, Panamint Millsite, Panamint Millsite No. 1, Panamint Talc Nos. 1-2 lode mining claims, and Panamint Talc Nos. 6-8. The mining area is reached via a dirt road jutting off to the south at the mouth of Warm Spring Canyon. (This route continues on south through Wingate Wash.) About one-quarter mile south on this road are two structures of recent origin. One is a large, two-room, corrugated-metal residence building with a poured concrete floor and plywood walls covered with graffiti, containing two metal bunks. The other empty structure is a small wood and composition-paper shack.

The road turns west from here for about one-half mile, becoming a four-wheel-drive route, and leads to an abandoned ore bin and adit. Evidence of exploratory activity is evident for a half mile along the south wall of the canyon. At its upper end is a large three-chute ore bin positioned on a truck-loading level with the remains of a single ore chute hanging from the hillside above. Ore cars evidently trammed the ore to the surface of the mine and outside, proceeding up an inclined set of tracks and dumping their load into the single chute, which emptied into cars on the second level; these cars then dumped the ore into the lower three-chute bin, from which it was guided into trucks for transport. The workings in this area consist of an inclined shaft about sixty feet long with a twenty-foot drift extending west from the bottom of the shaft. Above the mine portal on the hillside is a frame equipment shelter. These are the oldest workings on the Panamint property, dating from the early 1950s; they produced only a small amount of talc. Most of the talc shipped from this group has come from a deposit about 1,000 feet south-southwest of this shaft--an area mined by an open cut in the mid-1950s. [248]

ore bin and workings
Illustration 56. Ore bin and workings at Panamint Talc Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 57. Modern buildings east of Panamint Talc Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

c) Evaluation and Recommendations

The ore bin, ore chute, and tramway ruins of the Panamint Talc Group are of recent (1950s) vintage. Neither they nor the two ruined buildings near the Warm Spring Road junction are historically significant.

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Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003